Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “FA Cup”

The Magic Of the FA Cup. Met Police Fc 0 Newport County 2


Whichever way you looked at this, Met Police were never favourites to win this game. They sit three divisions below Newport County and have crowds that are usually around the 100-120 mark. Contrary to popular belief they have had no serving police officers playing for them since 2015 and many players are youth team players who have come through the junior clubs that Met Police run. Any league side wanting to learn how to run their academies and compete against the larger clubs might look no further than Met Police. Their your teams have had enormous success in recent seasons.

There are far better match reports out there than I can write, but watching the game close-up whilst photographing gave an excellent position to compare the two teams. The result Met Police 0 Newport County 2 was probably a fair result overall, the strength and physicality of the league professionals won out in the end. Some of the photographs emphasise the youth of the Met Police players compared to seasoned professionals such as David Pipe who is 35years and still playing well. young and old However having said that neutrals might not disagree that Met Police were the more skilful side to watch and certainly the more entertaining . The best player on the pitch was 25 year old Jack Mazzone, who having watched a number of times this season, makes me wonder why he is not playing at a higher level. A strong intelligent and hard working number nine who has good skill. I would go as far as saying that if he was playing for Newport yesterday the scoreline might have been even greater. 00004938physicality 2

Joe Day the Newport keeper was a real conundrum. Prior to the game the away fans were telling me he had saved them many points this season and a world class save, I don’t exaggerate, in the first half to deny Jack Mazzone, may have tipped the game. The second half though was a different affair and although he came and commanded his area by viciously punching balls away, he also dropped balls and was lucky not to concede a couple of goals simply through errors. 00005004

The real story of the game though was the torrential rain that swept in just before kick off that gave fans ( except Newport fans who were under cover) and photographers a tough time. The rain was a real deluge and i have tried to capture some of the wetness in photographs on my photographic site.

chrisbushephotography.com/2018/11/11/fa-cup-football-in-torrential-rain-at-met-police-v-newport-county/

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In the end this was a game that on a different day could have had a different result, but Newport County worked hard and although their goals were maybe a little fortuitous, they might have had a couple more in the end.

00004941Pain and emotionJack00004990000049850000497300004972000049691K4A67191K4A663300004954000049400000493700004942Lastly lets not forget the Newport County fans who were great. Chatting before the game they were a nice group of supporters and all will wish them well in the next round.

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If John Stead Had Been Playing For Brentford Would The Score Have Been different? Thoughts After A Dismal Day


Although no-one likes losing a game, frankly this was a game that Dean Smith clearly thought little of. Despite his post-match protestations, this was a  truly abysmal ineffective Brentford performance. Few would disagree with that and most might go further and ask why this might have happened. 00001572 copy

A very different Brentford team with 8 changes found it hard to get going and a half time score of 0-0 was about right against a physical Notts County.  The difference between the sides was a well taken goal from John Stead who is having a superb second half of his career at Notts County. 00001545 copy

With so many new faces it was maybe harsh to expect the kind of football and passing we are used to simply because the players have not played before together.  Individually a couple of the players had nightmare games for different reasons. Josh McCeachran was not only ineffective but gave the ball away numerous times and had his weakest game in a Brentford shirt. For all his skill, it is difficult to see what he gives to the team and his absence of physicality makes things even harder. Neal Maupay worked 100% but it seems does not have either the talent to succeed or the confidence, either way he again did not score and in the second half with multiple balls coming from the right from Florian Josefzoon one might have expected a goal or two. It is difficult to see how he can turn this around frankly. Alan Judge came on and had a decent 20 minutes and Marcondes also seemed a little unsure of his positioning but did show some promise. 0000152100001571

The reality of the game was that it should have been 0-0. Notts County worked hard but did not inspire, and although they will undoubtedly gain promotion, my guess is they will have a short stay in League 1 unless they sign a few more creative souls. I was not pleased to see their brand of physicality  ( which translates to fouls).

If Dean Smith wanted to win this game then he could and should have made perhaps only 4 changes. What he probably learnt was that his ” reserve” players are not perhaps quite up to Championship standard currently.

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The body language at the end showed it all, disappointment  , but simply the side was not good enough to score against a team two divisions below.  John Stead looked a decent player and with the number of balls that got into the box in the game, my suspicion is that if he were the Brentford forward, he might have had a hat-trick.

JM00001542000015271K4A7847000015230000151500001538Alan Judge will most likely be eased back over the next few months and realistically will look to be 100% by the start of next season. On positive notes yet again Chris Mepham played well and Florian worked hard but his final balls could be better. As we enter the transfer window yet again we are all thinking we need to sign 1-2 strikers. The argument that we already score lots of goals is not a good one, as with a pair of different styled strikers we might score a lot more. Some unanswered questions might be:

  1. Why has Justin Shaibu not featured more this season?
  2. What is the plan with Theo Archibald? Has his off-field antics caused behind the scenes problems?
  3. What to do with Neal Maupay?
  4. How could Brentford possibly consider selling Lasse Vibe?
  5. With our midfield and defensive players often getting balls into the box, is there not a solid argument for having a large centre-forward as either Plan B option or as yesterday, Plan A?

FA cup First Round. The grounds are hardly crowded. Why ?


The media are full of the glamour of the FA cup. Sadly for many if not most teams that glamour is somewhat tarnished.

Not everyone is aware that the FA cup starts in August and ends in May. The early qualifying rounds are a god given chance for nonleague teams to make a small amount of money from the moderately attractive prize money on offer. By the time the first round rolls round in November the media suddenly awake with their stories of candlestick makers and funeral directors somehow managing to combine a job and a nonleague football career. Curiously they manage that on each of the other 364 days. As overheard at the recent Met Police FA trophy game a player when asked if he was playing on Tuesday simply answered negatively as was working. As Moriarty famously said in Sherlock “ that’s what people do”.

The glamour of the first round however comes with sadness too. The crowds at many grounds , sometimes famous grounds in FA cup parlor, were poor if not pathetic. The reasons may be varied. Clubs that decide not to offer deals and retain normal charges . Clubs that poorly advertise. Clubs that simply do not care as the league club imagines that the prize money more than compensates.

Let’s take a look at the winners and the rogues gallery. Starting with the rogues;

  • Colchester. We all recall Layer Road and the Leeds cup tie. The crowd v Oxford City a pitiful 1775. Oxford won 1-0.
  • Coventry. A crowd of 3370 saw a 2-0 victory over Maidenhead.
  • Charlton. Another ex-premier league side . A crowd of 4494 saw a 3-1 victory over Truro. Around 1000 were Truro fans
  • Blackburn. Premiership winners . A crowd of 3710 saw a 3-1 victory over Barnet
  • Wimbledon. There has been enough miserable moaning from the club over the last few years about MK Dons and Franchise FC. The famous FA cup winners persuaded only 3394 paying spectators to attend their game against Lincoln City who had an incredible run last year. Terrible in my opinion. Need I continue.

So where were the decent crowds? The nonleague sides playing at home. Hereford who are a reincarnated club but with great cup history had 4712 watch them defeat another nonleague side AFC Telford. Almost matching the highest crowd of the round at Luton v Portsmouth. 5333.

What realistically can be done? There are three options

  1. Do nothing and watch the history and glamour of this great competition die
  2. Allow the FA to subsidise prices for the first two rounds such that the maximum ticket price is £10 or less and children are free
  3. In the first round seed all nonleague teams to have home advantage

To do nothing is not an option.

Gander Green Lane . The Sutton United Football Experience 


As a regular watcher of nonleague football to watch Sutton v Cheltenham in the FA cup second round seemed a reasonable option. Did I enjoy the whole experience? Not really. What went wrong?


Admission was a reasonable £15 and £2.50 bought a fairly average programme mostly full of adverts. 


Sitting in the main stand was not an option as seems all the seats quite reasonably had been ticketed. 


On first sight the ground is an attractive one tucked away about a mile from the town centre and seemingly inserted between park lands on one side and residential housing on the other.  To some extent the ground is covered on each of the four sides. So what went wrong? 


Firstly the standard of the game was poor with one hardly realising that Cheltenham were a professional league two side managed by Gary Johnson who once very successfully managed Latvia. 

Secondly there are huge gaps between the stands and the pitch edge, although some could stand pitchside, but again a huge gap between the pitch side and the actual pitch. This all contributed to far less of an atmosphere than when fans are close to the action. Some of these photographs might convey this large gap. 


Thirdly there were such limited catering and toilet facilities for the crowd of 2200 that if either were needed a long queue was mandatory. I counted around 30 people queuing around 10 minutes before half time at each of the outlets in the Sutton fans section. Without doubt more outlets were needed and Sutton missed out on greater takings. 

Perhaps the most worrying aspect were many of the young fans not even watching the game in the second half and kicking balloons to each other and on benches outside the closed club shop. 

All in all this is a ground I would not rush to return to. 

Football in Black and White. 


Images of football especially of the terraces. When viewed in black and white they can give the impression of football 100 years ago.

Football Photographs From Sutton United 2 Cheltenham 1 . Second round FA cup 2016


The End of a FA Cup Dream – Carshalton 2 Worthing 6.Some photographs from an entertaining game.


The preliminary and qualifying rounds of  the FA cup often produce a few surprises and with financial rewards around £2000 for winning, teams have more than a vested interest.  On a damp and occasionally rainy evening Worthing ran out clear winners over Carshalton, however the scoreline fails to reflect a fascinating game that surely Carshalton will learn from.

0000585900005879Some spectators decided that an umbrella was the best option even sitting in the main stand.

00005872Carshalton took an early 2-0 lead and looked the better footballing side but a scrappy Worthing goal minutes before half time put them back in the game.

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The first Carshalton goal

The second half was one way traffic not helped with the sending off of their captain Jahmahl King  for two probably unnecessary  yellow cards. This led to a non-stop attack on the Carshalton goal and Alex Kozakis had this view for most of the second half.

00005905 The crowd of 286 saw a good game with a scoreline not really a fair one. Although Carshalton played good football their heads went down particualrly after the sending off of their captain and towards the end were playing the ball around at the back as a form of damage limitation.

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Heads dropped a little

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00005900000058880000588700005891Both goalkeepers had work to do through the game and the score does not also refelct that they had decent games.

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Worthing score in the second half

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Worthing score again

0000588100005867Peter Adeniyi will feel a little unlucky overall however with some defensive strengthening this will become a very good side indeed.

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Carshalton 3 Farnham Town 0. FA Cup Preliminary Round 2016. Photos of the game.


A reasonably entertaining game but one which the hosts won too easily and the result was never in doubt.

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Photographing NonLeague Football Makes You Smile. Some Quite Curious Photos. Carshalton v Farnham Town FA Cup 2016


Sometimes when you photograph a game you get lucky. The game is exciting, or there are spectacular goals. Sometimes though you just get a series of quite unintentional photos. Here are a few photos from a Preliminary Round game in the FA Cup 2016 Carshalton Athletic v Farnham Town.

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The keeper is punching the ball at the precise moment the shot is taken

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Trail left on a 3G pitch

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Two things I like about this shot. The sign saying “no ball games allowed” and the photographer here imagining nothing interesting will happen.

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Tommy Bradford, a Carshalton forward seems to have become a dwarf

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The guy in the background leaning onto the pitch and gesticulating gives the impression of being not only Voldemort but also a pony tail for this Farnham Town player

A Very Wet Brentford Performance.Brentford 0 Walsall 1


As Brentford fans some weeks are best forgotten and it is better to remove those bees coloured spectacles and see the game for what it was. Brentford were comprehensively beaten by a hard working and decent Walsall side.

An excellent turn out from Walsall that filled the away end.

Fans arrived mostly by car but the potential was there to arrive by boat if they wished, and with such a wet game that might have been a good option. IMG_1179IMG_1178

The first half ended 1-0 to Walsall which is how the game ended but it was totally one-sided. The second half was better for Bees once Alan Judge came on, but frankly they never really seemed likely to score with the exception of one excellent save from the walsall keeper.

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Why were Brentford so bad? Conspiracy theorists will no doubt argue that the cup is not important or maybe that transfer speculation had upset the side. I don’t know, maybe both are true. But the reality was that Walsall were the better side, their work rate was higher , their players seemed technically better. The five players brought in from last week did nothing to suggest they should be chosen next week. The swirling rain made watching even from Row G a rather wet experience. The plus point was the introduction of Marco Djuricin half way through the second half.

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Hands on head time maybe?

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The Bees fans on Twitter formed their views of this game which align with mine above. What we learned for sure was that Bees have no strikers. Midfield needs strengthening . But above all the worry that it was not the result but the performance that is most of concern. Players like McCormack did not perform. Swift looked undone by the physical attention of the Walsall players. Hoffman just looked poor really, not a championship player.

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